Kagame receives delegation from Burundi

On 11 January 2022 at 07:19

President Paul Kagame has received a delegation led by Burundi’s Minister in charge of EAC Affairs, Youth, Culture and Sports, Amb. Ezéchiel Nibigira with a message from his counterpart Évariste Ndayishimiye, Rwanda’s Presidency has revealed.

Kagame hosted Nibigira on Monday 10th January 2022 with whom they held discussions on strengthening bilateral relations.

The discussions were attended by different officials including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Vincent Biruta; the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) Head of Military Intelligence, Brig Gen Vincent Nyakarundi.

The discussions are considered a step further towards revitalized bilateral relations.

In 2015, a group of Burundian soldiers attempted to overthrow the then President Pierre Nkurunziza but the plan was nullified. Since then, Burundi accused Rwanda of accommodating suspects behind the failed coup plot. Rwanda has however been insisting that the individuals are considered as refugees who must be protected against deportation by international laws.

The political mishap later halted cooperation and free movements between both countries.

Despite misunderstandings that have characterized both countries, both countries are promising to bring the situation back to normal for mutual benefits.

There has been commendable progress to bring the situation back to normal since Ndayishimiye was installed in 2020.

Towards the end of August 2020, both countries’ heads of military intelligence met at Nemba One stop border post to discuss issues of security along their common border.

The discussions were held under the auspices of the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM), a regional military framework under the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and was aimed at finding solutions on security incidents along the common border that have strained the relations between the two countries.

The Heads of both the Rwandan and Burundian delegation said the meeting was a good opportunity for exchange on the existing security problems and finding solutions and will contribute to bring trust between the two countries.

In October 2020, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Dr. Vincent Biruta met with his Burundian counterpart Amb. Albert Shingiro and his delegation at at Nemba where they expressed willingness on restoring bilateral ties.

Last year in October 2021, Governors from Rwanda and Burundi held discussions aimed at enhancing cooperation between both countries.

During the same year, Burundi handed over to Rwanda, 11 combatants of the National Liberation Front (FLN) apprehended on its land.

Through the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM), Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) also handed over 19 combatants of RED-Tabara to Burundi. RED-Tabara is an armed group hostile to the Burundian government.

Discussions revolved around strengthening bilateral ties.
Representatives from both countries in a group photo with President Paul Kagame after holding discussions.
The delegation was hosted at Village Urugwiro.